Small, Midsize Firms Committed to Green Initiatives in the Supply Chain

July 16, 2008
Companies seek mobile-enabled technology that helps entire supply chain conserve energy.

In a survey of 250 decision makers at small and midsize enterprises involved in the manufacturing, wholesale, and distribution industries, IDC found that there is a growing level of commitment among both small and midsize firms toward the adoption of applications that would support more environmentally friendly supply chain initiatives.

"While the social responsibility for establishing green initiatives is now generally regarded as the norm for European companies, U.S. firms have been slow to embrace the technologies that would support this effort," said Judy Hodges, manager of IDC's Small and Medium Business Markets: Enterprise Applications research service. "However, in our most recent IDC AppStats Survey,we find that small and midsize manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors in the U.S. are on the path toward leveraging innovative technologies to support a green supply chain."

IDC's research indicates that even among the smallest of the supply chain companies surveyed (those with 2099 employees), there is a clear indication that support for green initiatives is emerging. Manufacturing and supply chain application providers should view these findings as an attractive opportunity to support the automation of new business processes and transformational business procedures.

IDC's latest survey research shows that small and midsize manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors will seek the following:

  • Manufacturing applications that support and sustain a renewable way of producing products to reduce supply chain risk while adding value for their customers, with the end goal of becoming more efficient and profitable
  • Warehouse and distribution applications that help them streamline and improve the accuracy of inventory levels, as well as those that create a closed-loop system for reporting and reconciling inventory levels with the front office
  • Mobile-enabled applications that will enable suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors to use devices that help to conserve energy, thereby reducing costs as well
  • Human resource applications that help find, train, and support a workforce that is knowledgeable in areas of green manufacturing and distribution and can manage facilities that are equipped with energy efficiency technology and are staffed with a "green collar" workforce.

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